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Scholarly Communication

Financial stress and strain associated with terminal cancer – a systematic review of the evidence

Hanratty, Barbara; Holland, Paula; Jacoby, Ann and Whitehead, Margaret (2007) Financial stress and strain associated with terminal cancer – a systematic review of the evidence. Palliative Medicine, 21 (7). pp. 595-607. ISSN 1477-030X (Online); 0269-2163 (Print)

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Background Financial circumstances are an important aspect of quality of life for older people, and may be a significant influence on health and wellbeing at the end of life. The aim of this study was to review the evidence for the existence and consequences of financial stress and strain at the end of life, for people dying with cancer Methods: Systematic review of studies providing data on financial circumstances for people with terminal cancer. The databases Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Web of Science and Cancer Lit, were searched for studies published in English between 1966 and June 2006, providing data on illness related financial burden (stress), or perception of financial hardship (strain), from patient or caregiver. Results: Twenty-four papers were identified from 20 studies, 13 of which were from the USA. A majority of studies (14) were of cross sectional design; four adopted a purely qualitative approach. Almost half were conducted with caregivers after the death of the patient. Depending on patient population, between 10 and 45% of households reported financial stress or strain. People with greater care needs, lower incomes, or of black racial origin were worst affected. One study found that financial stress was associated with different treatment choices, but no other consequences for patient or household were reported. Conclusions: Financial stresses and strain affect a significant minority of households of people with terminal cancer in different health systems. Research into the consequences of this for the health and wellbeing of the household are needed to fill a gap in our understanding and improve holistic palliative care.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Issue date : October 2007. Three additional references cited in published version not included in uploaded document.
Uncontrolled Keywords:caregivers; economics; family; neoplasms; socioeconomic factors; terminal care; terminally ill
Subjects:R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Medicine > School of Population, Community & Behavioural Sciences
Related URLs:
ID Code:1097
Deposited On:14 Feb 2011 15:31
Last Modified:19 May 2011 19:00

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